N.O. hosts Sugar Bowl as local sports fans seek recovery - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

N.O. hosts Sugar Bowl as local sports fans seek recovery

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New Orleans, La. -

Football fans are filling the French Quarter once again in advance of the Sugar Bowl Wednesday night.  It's the start of a new year which local sports fans hope will be a whole lot better than the last.

In the sports world, hope springs eternal.  Louisville and Florida fans in town for Wednesday night's Sugar Bowl parade through the Quarter on New Year's Day, gearing up for another big matchup.  And while city hotels are nearly filled with out-of-town fans, local sports fans are licking their wounds after a rough 2012.

French Quarter resident John Deem said, "It's been disappointing.  I had high hopes, and then all this mess."

Monday night's LSU loss to Clemson was icing on what many believe was a pretty crumby cake. 

The year didn't start out much better, either.  2012 began with a Bama shutout of LSU in the BCS Championship here in New Orleans.  Then, there was Bountygate.  Saints defensive captain Jonathan Vilma spent much of the year not on the field, but in a courtroom after the NFL commissioner of suspended him and coach Sean Payton before the start of a promising season, due to allegations of payment for injuries. 

Many believe Bountygate cost the Saints the playoffs and a possible appearance in the 2013 Super Bowl, which New Orleans is hosting.

"I think it goes on around the league.  I think they picked on the Saints," said fan Troy Jessie.

Add Eric Gordon's injuries and a losing Hornets season, and the sum total is one of the worst sports years for many New Orleans fans in memory.

But 2013 promises to shine a bit brighter.  The Saints have their Super Bowl winning coach back in the fold and, after two bowl losses, things will hopefully get better at LSU.

Add to that the return of the Hornets' Eric Gordon, another big Sugar Bowl clash this week and the Super Bowl next month, and many hope the new year will see new success for local sports teams.

Another stunning development in sports in the past year was Tulane's celebrated entry into the Big East conference.  Days later, seven teams defected.

Tulane says it's staying the course on that move, as the Green Wave's new conference attempts to regroup in 2013.

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